Today is World Aids Day and the folks at Waba have issued an important public service message.
Broadly summarized, WHO guidelines on HIV and Infant feeding 2010 has recognized the important impact of the recent evidence on the effects of ARVs during the breastfeeding period. One of the key principles of these guidelines says that national authorities in each country should decide which infant feeding practice, i.e. breastfeeding with an antiretroviral intervention to reduce transmission or avoidance of all breastfeeding, will be primarily promoted and supported by Maternal and Child Health services. In the previous recommendations, health workers were expected to individually counsel all HIV-infected mothers about the various infant feeding options, to assist her to decide between them.
The new guidelines recommend that mothers known to be HIV-infected (and whose infants are HIV uninfected or of unknown HIV status) should exclusively breastfeed their infants for the first 6 months of life, introducing appropriate complementary foods thereafter, and continue breastfeeding for the first 12 months of life. Breastfeeding should then only stop once a nutritionally adequate and safe diet without breast milk can be provided…
Read the full Waba statement.